Re: Alocasia melo


Dear John

I have just spent a couple of weeks inthe US and had a chance to see 
a number of these glorious Alocasia species that are being grown at 
present. Most of these are related to A. melo, A. scabriuscula and 
A. guttata, among others. 

All these species are characterised by the spathes generally 
ivory-white throughout (including the lower spathe which is more 
generally green), variously dotted, streaked, edged or suffused with 
purple. The spathe limb typically becomes very fully reflexed at the 
point of constriction towards the end of female anthesis. The 
spadices are also generally ivory throughout, with little if any 
development of chlorophyll in the ovary at the flowering stage. The 
leaves are distinctly leathery in texture, with the petiole often 
scabrid. 

Alocasia 'Black Velvet' and 'Blackie' are, I think, the same and 
represent an undescribed species related to, but distinct from, A, 
melo.

Alocasia 'Elaine', A. guttatus (an as yet unpublished name) and A. 
'Green Shield' are all yet to be scientifically described and all 
represent new species.


Pete

----------------------------
Peter Boyce
Herbarium
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Richmond
Surrey    TW9 3AE
U.K.

Tel. + 44 - (0)181 332 5207
Fax. + 44 - (0)181 332 5298
email. p.boyce@lion.rbgkew.org.uk


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